I left Los Angeles in the Spring of 2012. My taste buds are yet to forgive me. North Carolina and Texas are great places to live for many reasons. Korean food isn’t one of them. Each time I’ve booked a flight back to LA, I have salivated and pleasantly smiled at the thought of enjoying my favorite comfort foods while catching up with lifelong friends.
This trip carried a much different tone.
In November, Lisa’s mom received a cancer diagnosis. She made a regular visit to an OB/GYN and was told to go immediately to the Emergency Room. We were devastated. I will never forget coming home late on a Tuesday night following a two-day ministry trip to the sound of my wife’s inconsolable tears.
Lisa is an only child. She’s lived with or near her mom her entire life.
We considered how to best provide support, and determined Lisa would take a leave of absence to be with her mom through the initial phases of chemo. She left as soon as winter break began.
I joined them last week, just before Christmas.
During the season of Christmas, Christians refer to Jesus as Immanuel, meaning God-with-us. The Virgin Birth is the mark of God’s Son entering a fallen world, leaving behind the comfort and glory of heaven to be with us, even in our darkness. Last week, I walked in on the sacred space of my wife placing a comma on her own life to be with her mom in and through the darkness of cancer.
I’m learning that being Christian is less about being on the inside of a particular dogmatic or political position, and more about sincerely imitating the self-giving love of Christ. The only appropriate way to claim Immanuel as my God, is to be with those in darkness around me.